Research Brief

Attitudes Among Nurses Toward the Integration of Complementary Medicine Into Supportive Cancer Care

Eran Ben-Arye

Bella Shulman

Yael Eilon

Rachel Woitiz

Victoria Cherniak

Ilanit Shalom Sharabi

Osnat Sher

Hiba Reches

Yfat Katz

Michal Arad

Elad Schiff

Noah Samuels

Ofer Caspi

Shahar Lev-Ari

Moshe Frenkel

Abed Agbarya

Hanna Admi

supportive care, integrative medicine, complementary medicine, education
ONF 2017, 44(4), 428-434. DOI: 10.1188/17.ONF.428-434

Purpose/Objectives: To explore the attitudes of nurses treating patients with cancer regarding the use of complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) therapies to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life (QOL).

Design: Prospective and descriptive.

Setting: 12 hospital and community care settings in Israel.

Sample: 973 nurses working in oncology and non-oncology departments.

Methods: A 26-item questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of nurses treating patients with cancer.

Main Research Variables: Interest in CIM integration and training in supportive cancer care.

Findings: Of the 973 nurses who completed the questionnaire, 934 expressed interest in integrating CIM into supportive cancer care. A logistic regression model indicated that nurses with a greater interest in integration tended to be older, believed that CIM improved patients’ QOL, and had no structured postgraduate oncology training. Nurses who believed CIM to be beneficial for QOL-related outcomes were more likely to express interest in related training. The goals of such training include improving QOL-related outcomes, such as anxiety, insomnia, gastrointestinal symptoms, and pain.

Conclusions: Most nurses working with patients with cancer are interested in the integration of CIM into supportive cancer care.

Implications for Nursing: Most nurses would like to undergo training in CIM to supplement conventional care. CIM-trained integrative nurses can help promote the integration of patient-centered CIM therapies in supportive cancer care settings.

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